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Cavs hope to bounce back from tough loss

The No. 11 William & Mary Tribe will play host to the Virginia lacrosse team today in a game between in-state rivals. The Cavaliers are 6-2 this season and are coming off a close loss to No. 8 North Carolina.

Tyler Leachman, a senior and last week's ACC Player of the Week, knows that William & Mary will prove to be a challenge.

"They've been doing very well," Leachman said. "They upset [Boston University], so we're in no way underestimating them. They have a good team this year."

While the Tribe ranks No. 11 as a team, William & Mary's senior attacker Colleen Dalon is the two-time defending Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week. Dalon scored nine goals in games against nationally ranked Richmond and Penn State to earn her second CAA Player of the Week award.

The Cavaliers in turn are led in scoring by the All-American Leachman, who has five hat tricks on the season, including one against UNC. Leachman also leads the team with 31 points and 22 goals. Freshman Blair Weymouth is another strong offensive contributor and is second on the team with 30 points with 21 goals.

However, in the loss to UNC, scoring dipped below 10 goals for the first time since a loss to Richmond in early March. Incidentally, Virginia has won every game this season in which they scored in double digits. Even with the drop in scoring against UNC, the Cavaliers are averaging over 13 goals a game in their past five games.

Though they are coming off a loss, the Cavaliers remain upbeat and ready for today's game. Leachman said the team will "Put [the loss to Carolina] past us in the locker room; we're going to move on. We're only halfway through the season."

Facing their second ranked team in a row, the Cavaliers are focusing on executing well and minimizing mistakes.

"It's just doing the basic things much, much better," Virginia coach Julie Myers said.

The game will take efficient play, as the Tribe is coming off of a 14-12 win over UMBC on Saturday. Overall, William & Mary is 4-2 with two wins over top 25 teams, and both of their losses coming at the hands of ranked opponents.

"Our team's made so much progress, but we have so much more to do," Leachman said. "We're getting better every game."

The Cavaliers led off with a 2-0 start this season, and following a loss to Richmond, rattled off four consecutive wins, including impressive victories against Penn State and Maryland.

The loss to UNC dropped Virginia to 2-1 in the ACC, with two more conference games remaining against Duke and Virginia Tech.

Virginia will be looking for a strong, balanced outing to defeat the Tribe. Four Cavaliers have scored more than 10 goals and five players are in double-digits in scoring.

Looking ahead, the Cavaliers have eight games remaining in the regular season. The team has upset some ranked teams, but there is still some room for improvement.